Mel and Jo are dance enthusiasts who dedicate their time to encourage swing dancing in the United Kingdom. Being familiar with lindy hop and blues, their current passion is mastering Balboa and Bal-swing - a journey of continuous learning.
They started salsa dancing in Singapore and after moving to the United Kingdom in 2000 began their journey in swing dancing. After dancing lindy hop, charleston and blues for several years they then fell in love with Balboa and became dedicated to learning this dance from 2008. However, they still love and continue dancing all styles to this day.
Jo has been athletic since she was a teenager and currently holds a brown belt in Xen-Do Martial Arts. Mel, who also accomplished medals in various sports, was a break-dancer and a DJ in his younger years. From this personal experience, they apply the techniques of physical motion to help them understand and master the nature of dance movement.
Currently, you can find them social dancing and competing at various events across Europe and the United States. They also teach Balboa/Bal-swing and facilitate pilot sessions throughout the United Kingdom and Europe. Their “down-to-earth” and positive attitude helps to make the classes they teach not only informative but also very enjoyable. Mel still continues his love for music as a DJ and emcee at dance events across Europe and the United States.
Their aspirations to be balboa ambassadors stems from their drive to continuously learn and share the passion and knowledge of dance to enthusiasts alike.
Competitions & Awards
April 15, 2009 - January 1, 2022
The pilot has been a group of dance enthusiasts who are teaching the balboa dance to people at various levels of ability.
The group was launched in 2009 and brings together like minded individuals to improve their level of skill, work on showmanship and to share teaching techniques.
Currently, the members of the group are primarily UK dancers/teachers who are at a level of their dancing that they can contribute productively and more importantly can offer inspiring comments or suggestions to the group in a constructive and positive manner.
Group sessions are arranged frequently and are unlike a traditional dance workshop. This is a peer-to-peer forum for exchanging techniques, ideas, styles and teaching methods for pure balboa and bal-swing, or better known as Southern California Swing. This utilises alternative and progressive approaches in self-learning and coaching.
Occasionally we have international teachers observing our sessions remotely. This helps them gauge the development of the local scene, which serves as a basis in future classes or private lessons in certain regions.
The Pilot is a non-profit organisation. Venue hires costs incurred are split among the participants. As sessions are held across the United Kingdom, we also encourage sharing if certain members cannot access public transportation easily.
The sessions aid to the physical development and mental growth of a dancer. However, not everyone is accustomed to the challenges experienced during these sessions. Therefore, the Pilot is a private group with an invitation only membership.
As of 2022, we are no longer holding pilot sessions. We believe that the balboa community around the United Kingdom has continued to grow in strength that more dancers are inspired to hold their own private group practices. As this is something we really encourage for dancers to do, we feel excited that dancers are taking more initiative to increase their development and to help spread the awareness of Balboa. We may hold the occasional piliot sesson on the odd occasion, but now look to begin a new chapter of dance projects that we think will be just as important as the pilot in spreading Balboa awareness across the United Kingdom. Should you have any projects that you wish to discuss with us, feel free to contact Mel Calanglang directly.